Printed circuit boards are used for a variety of purposes. Just a few of the more familiar uses are for computer motherboards, televisions, and traffic lights. Due to technological advancements with both design and assembly, this industry is experiencing considerable growth.
Circuit Board Designing
While circuit board design used to be done by hand using clear Mylar sheets, it is now handled with computer-aided design systems. This special software enables designers to lay out the circuit patterns as well as create the electrical conducting paths.
Heavy Copper Printed Circuit Boards
When designing printed circuit boards, many designers use 1 or 2 ounces of copper. When printed circuit boards have more than a 2 ounce thickness in their inner or outer layers, they are referred to as heavy copper printed circuit boards. Some manufacturers are able to provide printed circuit boards thicknesses of 6 ounces.
Multilayered Circuit Boards
While 4, 6, 8, and 10-layered boards are the most common, multi-layered circuit boards with more than 42 layers can also be manufactured. These boards, however, are only needed with exceptionally complex electronic circuits.
Double-Sided Circuit Boards
There are 2 different methods to connect the circuits on double-sided boards. These are through-hole and surface mount technologies.
Circuit Board Assembly Basics
Automatic lines are more efficient than traditional hand soldering. Just 1 automatic line, for example, can place and solder more components than 50 operators can do by hand. Furthermore, the end product will have a higher and more consistent quality. On an hourly basis, these automatic lines are able to apply solder paste, then place and solder a minimum of 50,000 parts.
Since printed circuit boards can be machine assembled, this greatly decreases the time it takes to turn around an order. In some cases, the standard turn-around time for filing circuit board assembly orders may be as short as 5 days or even less. This can be especially beneficial when quick turn PCB assembly services are needed for new product development.
The demand for printed circuit boards has been steadily increasing, and is a multi-billion-dollar industry. In1995, it was a $7.1 billion industry, and in 2012, it had a global value of $60 billion. By 2014, United States’ revenues were approximately $44 billion.